KATMANDU, NEPAL - NEWSLETTER DAY AND LOTS OF PHOTOS
FROM THE TOP OF THE WORLD - KATMANDU, NEPAL
Life is Good!
WHAT TO DO IN NEPAL
Jeff has the guidebook, and he remarked that there are only three cities listed in the Lonely Planet to Nepal. He has the one book, which is suppose to be comprehensive. I can tell you for 3 cities you do not need a guidebook for hotels. I guess it may have a lot on trekking, but it seem weird, and suspicious, Nepal is full of lot of interesting cities and places, and the trekking is for the city kids to say they went to the country.
There are Rhinos in the South! Why would I go walk around when I can go look at Rhinos? I think the Lonely Planet is creating an Invisible Leash on the Backpackers of the world, and no one looks at anything that is not in the guidebook. It is more tempting everyday to get rids of my guidebooks. I am only looking for the Hotels anyway, and my encyclopedia is much better on the facts.
YO YO WORLD TRAVEL
I feel like a yo yo, and my world is changing by the minute. First the tour company said we would leave early, and then they say we will leave the day after tomorrow. I am on a string, and they are pulling.
My friend in Varanasi called this:
“The Invisible Leash.”
This is what happens when you go on a tour. The tour operator has an invisible leash, and I do not blame them at all because most people on tours do need a leash to help them move around.
This is annoying to Jeff and me and we both thought. You do not move a tour up in time, you only move it back. One-half of the people that signed up would not be ready to leave in a couple of hours or one days notice.
So we leave on Wednesday for Tibet. We only are supposed to have a 20 day visa and it started on Tuesday and we do need to leave the country now, or burn up are visa time. They do not want us to stay in Tibet very long, and this is why the Visa is so short.
SENT A PACKAGE HOME OF SHIRTS AND IMMERSION HEATERS
I bought some shirt with the Hobo Logo embroidered on the shirts and some Immersion 220 Heaters to sell on my webpage.
I sent them DHL on the 16 of February. I fill out customs forms, and all sort of crap that will probably just make the pick up difficult in the USA. It is hard to explain, but you can just post a box to your home by regular mail and it will arrive very easily, but when you follow the rules then life get very complicated. I like to follow the rules, but I do not like a complicated life.
What is always fun, or stupid is listening to the import / export shipping companies tell me how easy it will be and there will be no problem. I suppose if I got on a plane today and picked it up in five days it would be easy.
He wanted me to address it to myself….
“But, I will be in China.”
He gets the point that I cannot pick up the package or deal with the customs officials from China.
He wants me to fill out the address as the person sending the form. Now he may be correct, but I think if I have a claim against DHL for a non-delivered package he came place the claim better then me. Normally they want you to place a claim from the place it originated. But I will not be at this place again for a long time.
This is all about empathy and how or what is possible.
If he had actually done this process like me, he would know how crazy it can be, and not advise his clients how to ship packages to other countries in this manners. The man that helped me is extremely honest and helpful, but he has never been to the USA, and I would venture to guess that almost zero percent of the trader, import, export people in the city have every been out of the country, so in the end they do not even know if the packages they send arrive.
Now the day in, day out manufacturing people do know whether a package arrive, but when a person ships a package home, they are one time shot, and the shipping company will never see the person again, and the problem and the client has been shipped away. So if there is a problem they will never know.
But this is why I used DHL, because I am getting to feel that I would rather pay about 50 percent more, go through the customs hassles, and know it is going to arrive. I can gamble by normal post, and maybe it will arrive. DHL is worldwide, UPS is in a lot of place, and I sometimes see a Fed-ex truck, but almost never. I see DHL everywhere in the world. UPS is only good in really really busy shipping place, and is normally more expensive than DHL. Normal post is the cheapest, but in Kathmandu the cost about the same. I think the public or government officials are exploiting the people here for all the pennies they can get. The also charge a lot of money for a visa and this only goes in the government’s pockets and hurts the local stores. I have no idea why a country like Nepal that is dependent upon tourism has a 30-dollar entrance fee, and 50 on the second time one year. This is nuts. Look at Thailand. ZERO and full.
Nepal is hurting right now because the Maoist are terrorizing the people and extorting allegiance, and money from everyone. I am under the impression that a King is a good idea here until they kill all the crazies, and then go to a democracy. Democracies have a problem with being brutal enough to get the job done. Fujimora go the job done in Peru with Shining Path, and then lost his job.
I have not seen any NGO’s here yet, but here they exist, but I always wonder where the do gooders are, and they are not roaming around in the streets with the rest of us hoboes, the must be in the lounge, or out back smoking a joint. My respect of NGO is almost ZERO. I like the UN in lots of ways, and you can see them. Peace Corp does some good, but most NGO’s are just money sucking leaches, that benefit only the management.